By Michael Manley
Ballarat trainer, Amy McDonald, was overcome with emotion after her star jumper Flying Agent (NZ) comfortably won the feature race on the opening day of the Warrnambool carnival, the Brierly Steeplechase.
McDonald described Flying Agent as an amazing horse after he provided her with the biggest win of her training career.
“I couldn’t thank the owners enough to show me the faith and send him over,” McDonald said.
McDonald said it was her long term goal to win the Brierly Steeplechase with Flying Agent.
McDonald took over the training of the former New Zealander in 2019 and since then he has won six jumps races.
The win completed a winning double for Darryl Horner Junior who was also successful on Out And Dreaming.
Horner Junior replaced his brother Lee, who is McDonald’s partner, as Flying Agent’s rider.
Lee Horner broke the tibia and fibula bones in a fall at Terang in March.
Horner said he was “pretty emotional” knowing that his brother should have been riding the horse.
“I’m glad I could do it for him and Amy. Amy is a terrific trainer and the way they’ve placed this horse is absolutely exceptional," Horner Junior said.
“How good is this horse! All the credit has to go to Amy and Lee. What they’ve done with him is remarkable.”
Horner said Flying Agent also was a remarkable jumper.
“All Lee does is brag about it and brag about it but until you ride him you don’t appreciate it. The pressure was on three (furlongs) from home. I didn’t panic,” Horner said.
“That’s one thing Lee has drilled into me is not to panic. I just let it all unfold and he was simply too good,” he said.
Flying Agent started a $1.80 fav and defeated the gallant Bit OF A Lad ($4.80) by two and a quarter lengths with the consistent Lucques ($31) running another placing finishing five and a half lengths.